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Domestic Secrets by Rosalind Noonan
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Domestic Secrets

by Rosalind Noonan

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112820,536 (3.25)None
2016 (1) ARC (1) netgalley (3) shortlist (1) to-read (3)

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I received this book free from net galley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
After reading my first book by Rosalind Noonan, she quickly became one of my favourite authors and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read this book.
Ariel and Rachel have been best friends for 15 years. They vacationed together, watched each other's children, were in and out of each other's houses and spent a lot of time together. Then the event that horrified everyone and separated the two families happened and secrets started spilling out. While reading this, I kept asking myself why these two ladies were still friends. They both had kids around the same age that were as close as siblings, they both lost their husbands around the same time, both were involved in high school productions but there the similarities needed.
The friendship was clearly more one sided and Ariel was so unlikable, I can't imagine anyone wanting to be her friend. She's inconsiderate, so self centred that she can never see beyond what she wants. She is definitely not mother material, even seeming to actually dislike her kids, especially Cassie, the oldest, who many times has taken over the role of mom in the house.
This story was sad in so many ways. There's so much tragedy and betrayal and backstabbing and bullying, touching so many issues; this author is not afraid to shock. Rosalind Noonan is one of those authors that isn't as well known as she should be, her books are gems.
One criticism I do have with this one though is that I found it didn't flow as well as other books of hers. I felt there was a lot of jumping around from one part of the story back and forth and sometimes I would have to remind myself whose story we were on, Rachel's or Ariel's or one of the kids. All in all though, that's pretty minor; the story itself was fantastic and I throughly enjoyed reading it. I would give it a solid 4 1/2. A big thank you to net galley and the publisher for allowing me the opportunity to read and review this book. ( )
  maggie1961 | Apr 9, 2016 |
Domestic Secrets by Rosalind Noonan is set in Timbergrove, Oregon. Rachel Whalen is single mother, has two boys, and owns Holy Snips (a hair salon). Ariel Alexander is a single mother of four children, an actress, and a voice (singing) coach. Her oldest daughter, Cassie (19) is in college and is critical of her mother (her lifestyle and choices as they affect the younger children still at home). Ariel had a hard time after her husband passed away. She checked out of life and holed herself up in her bedroom (leaving Cassie to take care of the children, house, etc.). Rachel and Ariel are friends despite their differences. Rachel is worried about her youngest son, Jared. He has been distant, angry, and sneaky around. What is going on with him? Then tragedy strikes both families. They are left devastated, angry, and on separate sides. What happened to destroy these two families? You will have to read Domestic Secrets to find out.

I found Domestic Secrets to be a very slow paced book. The “incident” does not happens until you are sixty percent into the book (it too way too long to get to it). The novel is fine (okay), but not great. I was not a fan of the characters (especially Ariel was selfish, vain, and extremely self-centered). Rachel’s talk of “vibe” and “karma” was off-putting as well as the many scenes of her thinking (what was her son’s doing, are they making the right decisions, etc.). Domestic Secrets contains sex, violence (domestic and murder), and foul language. I give Domestic Secrets 2.75 out of 5 stars. One thing that I really disliked what the use of the word ennui. It was over used in this novel.

I received a complimentary copy of Domestic Secrets from NetGalley in exchange for an honest evaluation of the novel. ( )
  Kris_Anderson | Mar 20, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 161773327X, Paperback)

Rachel Whalen and Ariel Alexander have been friends for more than a decade. Despite their differences--down-to-earth Rachel owns a local hair salon; Ariel is a vivacious former TV star determined to hold on to her looks--they've helped each other navigate single motherhood, banding together against the soccer moms of Timbergrove, Oregon.

Yet lately, Rachel wonders about Ariel's increasingly erratic parenting and her clandestine love life. And Rachel can't reveal to anyone, even Ariel, how much she worries about her sullen, distant, younger son. When an unthinkable tragedy separates the two families, Rachel desperately tries to understand what went wrong. But as her assumptions are ripped away one by one, she must confront shattering revelations about the people she trusted and the suburban world that once seemed so safe.

Rosalind Noonan explores both the bonds and the gulfs that exist between parents and children, friends and neighbors, in a suspenseful novel that is honest, intelligent, and thought provoking.

Praise for Rosalind Noonan's And Then She Was Gone

"Noonan writes another gripping family story that handles sensitive issues with grace. The timely plot will hold readers in its sway." --Booklist

"Rosalind Noonan has done an excellent job tackling this difficult topic…The story is both sad and uplifting, an offering of hope that will remain in the forefront of your mind long after you finish the last chapter." --San Francisco Book Review

(retrieved from Amazon Sun, 31 Jan 2016 11:29:36 -0500)

Rachel Whalen and a Ariel Alexander have been friends for more than a decade. Despite their differences--down-to-earth Rachel owns a local hair salon; Ariel is a vivacious former TV star determined to hold onto her looks--they've helped each other navigate single motherhood, banding together against the soccer moms of Timbergrove, Oregon. Yet lately, Rachel wonders about Ariel's increasingly erratic parenting and her clandestine love life. And Rachel can't reveal to anyone, even Ariel, how much she worries about her sullen, distant, younger son. When an unthinkable tragedy separates the two families, Rachel desperately tries to understand what went wrong. But as her assumptions are ripped away one by one, she must confront shattering revelations about the people she trusted and the suburban world that once seemed so safe"--Page 4 of cover.… (more)

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